The red carpet campaign

Don’t get me wrong: I like celebrities.  Not as much as I like shrimp po’boys, or a good dog, but still…
 
I have spent time in the company of many actors,  singers, dancers, magicians, jugglers, famous chefs, and infamous sports figures.  Most have been pleasant.  Some have been very nice.  A few have been world class jerks.  Never, however, have I walked away thinking, “Wow, if only this person could help run the country, we’d all be better off!”  
 
And yet, the White House, through both Democratic and Republican years, has hosted more famous friends than Wolfgang Puck.  It’s like dinner with Larry King every night over there; uh…without Larry.  This week Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – in town to screen Jolie’s new movie about Bosnian war crimes –stopped by to grab a grilled cheese with the president.  I have met both halves of Brangelina and have no bone to pick with either.  They were polite, well versed in their causes (she more than he, to be honest), and they didn’t put their feet on the furniture.    
 
Still, it baffles me why the White House seems to always have a guest room ready for such rich and famous folks, while you and I couldn’t get in for a glass of water if we were on fire.  Sure, celebs talk about serious issues.  But don’t you have some ideas you’d like to chat over in the Oval Office?  (I mean other than having your brother-in-law deported.) And can you imagine any president saying, “Oh no!  We’re on the brink of a global conflagration.  Quick, get me Reese Witherspoon!”
 
As this election year rolls on, however, we can all expect to see many more celebs hanging out in politically high places; offering often unqualified opinions, endorsing candidates, and enjoying the kind of access to power that you and I will never, ever enjoy.  Come to think of it, I know exactly why it happens: Because celebs bring fame, social contacts, and money to political players.  That’s all it is.  
 
Still, it seems a bit disingenuous for Washington types to constantly rant, rave, and stamp their feet over the undue influence of the rich and powerful, while simultaneously swinging the door open wide over and over again to welcome the rich and powerful, while famously telling the rest of us to keep our feet off the red carpet…and wait outside.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Local

NYPD arrest man after finding body inside plastic…

Police said they found a man stuffed inside a plastic container in a Brooklyn home. Authorities arrested Joshua Simser, 24, in connection to the death

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.